Recently, on my Neighborhood App, a woman related the story of driving with out of state plates on her car and having a man in another vehicle roll down his window and scream, “Go home!” Then others with similar experiences shared theirs on the app. It was everything from experiences like hers to seeing signs stating that Idaho is full. I do not condone any of this, but as a fifth generation Idahoan, I do understand the frustration. I am going to attempt to explain some of the things that come to mind, but my native friends, help me out if I forget anything. My intention is not bash newcomers, but it is to provide perspective.


  1. It is bad form to move somewhere and immediately start telling us that we’re doing it wrong. We get really tired of hearing about how we should do things like they do in California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, or fill in any other state that people are moving here from. If things were so great there, why did you move to Idaho?

  2. We are growing faster than our infrastructure can realistically handle. I don’t think there is any state in the country that could. It would be a huge help if people moving in could help us out. Before you got here, our schools were not crowded, our housing prices were not at all time highs and our property taxes were low, our backyards were bigger and did not have three story apartment complexes or massive retail outlets butted up against them, we could get from one end of the valley to the other in 15-20 minutes, and our local and state offices were not swamped. None of us like to pay more in taxes or fees, but something has to give. facebook house  

  3. Please don’t assume because I’m a native Idahoan that I am a Republican.  Believe it or not, Idaho used to have checks and balances in our state government. I grew up knowing Cecil Andrus as my Governor. He is widely considered as one of the best we’ve had. If you’ve experienced Idaho at all, then you’ve been in the areas that Frank Church protected when he was in Congress. Of course, there were many others, but the point is, not all Idahoans are Republicans. As a teacher, I meet many people moving in from out of state, and it’s always a difficult conversation when assumptions are made about my political affiliations and beliefs. And just to add, I'm not a Mormon, Redneck, or NRA member, but I am educated, well-traveled, and I come from a hunting family who believes in gun control. In short, you know what they say about assuming.

  4. Just because you own a four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive does not mean you can drive on icy roads. Slow down and know that regardless of your vehicle, driving on snowy or icy roads is different and requires skill and patience.


I realize I am not talking to all the people moving in to our state, just like it is not all Idahoans who are driving around screaming at people or putting signs in their windows. Moving to a new place is hard, and dealing with change in a place that you’ve spent your entire life in is hard too. Perhaps if both sides were just a little more understanding, we could grow the perfect place to live together.   

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